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European Union Center honors three essay winners

Melissa Mitchell, News Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Three Illinois high school students were honored for their submissions to an essay contest sponsored by the University of Illinois' European Union Center.

The center inaugurated the contest to coincide with its annual European Union Day and State of the European Union Address. This year's address was presented Oct. 27 by Francois Bujon, the French ambassador to the United States.

The contest was open to all Illinois high school students, who were invited to write on the topic "Agree or Disagree: The Enlargement of the European Union is a threat to U.S. Economic Security."

Essays were judged on quality of writing, persuasiveness of argument, clarity of key points and overall coherence.

The winning entry was submitted by Jennifer Klafehn, who attends Nequa Valley High School, Naperville. Klafehn received a certificate and $100.

Second place honors went to Mathew Woodbury, University High School, Urbana. Woodbury received a certificate and $50.

Placing third was another Nequa Valley High student, James Belsante. He received a certificate and $25.

All three winners were invited to attend an EU Day luncheon at the Urbana campus, and were introduced to the French ambassador.